Sing to Me in the Morning (an original love story)

Charlie has been friends with Shawn since college. Their whole group of friends has always made jokes about how the two of them are perfect for each other...but are they really?

hey guys, this is for the Writing Contest! hope you like it! :D

Chapter 1

December 23, 2012- Los Angeles, California

"All I want for Christmas is you-oooh-"

"Baby!" I joined in singing with Billy in the kitchen where we were both getting another beer.

Sandra was pulling another batch of cookies out of the oven, shaking her head at our spastic singing.

"You two sound lovely!" Ryan said, tossing an arm around Billy's shoulders as he grabbed a beer as well.

"Okay, the kitchen is too crowded!" Sandra declared, waving at us to get out while wearing Billy's Santa Claus apron. "Out!"

"Awww!" The three of us chimed as we left the kitchen.

"That's my oven, you know!" Billy sniffed, raising an eyebrow at ehr.

"Go watch the football game!" She said exasperatedly. But I could see that she was grinning.

We were all over at Billy's and Shawn's flat that they've shared since college for some Sunday night fun.

"YES! Charlie, Redskins just scored again! Interception by D-Hall!" I heard Roxy yell from the living room.

"Hell yeah! D-Hall!" I shouted, punching the air as Ryan, Billy and I walked into the living room.

Shawn, Terry, and Roxy were on the couch watching the Washington Redskins and the Philadelphia Eagles duke it out two days before Christmas.

"Twenty-seven to thirteen, baby!" Roxy grinned, giving Terry and I high-fives as I sat down between her and Shawn, Ryan and Billy sitting down in on the other two chairs.

Roxy is from Maryland like me and is a die-hard Redskins fan. Terry is our British friend who likes to support the Redskins because they're "the nation's team".

I've supported the Skins all of my life, but I don't obsess to much over football. It's not that important.

"This is bad." Shawn groaned, dragging a hand over his face.

Yeah, cause we're going to kick your bloody arses next week, mate!" Terry crowed, winking at Shawn over mine and Roxy's heads.

Shawn is the biggest Cowboys fan there ever was, as is his whole family, including Sandra, his twin sister.

"Growing up in Dallas is a brainwashing system." he and Sandra always joke.

"We'll see about that!" Shawn said then. "It would be the best Christmas present ever if the Eagles manage to scrape a win in these last 13 minutes."

"Shiit!" I cursed suddenly, leaping off the couch.

"What the hell, Charlie?" Shawn yelped, looking up at me as Sandra came into the living room with a plate piled high with Christmas cookies.

"I almost forgot! I have yours and Sandra's presents since you two are leaving early for your parents' house and won't be here for the kick-ass party tomorrow!" I grinned as I hurried out of the living room to the foyer, where I had stowed my bag and presents.

From the living room, I heard only silence, which was weird.

"You haven't told her yet?" I heard Billy ask as I snatched the presents and walked back into the living room.

"Told me what?" I asked, pausing when I saw that Billy, Terry, and Roxy were all glaring daggers at Shawn while Sandra sat on Ryan's lap, both of them just watching with wide eyes.

"That Sandra and I got you guys presents too!" Shawn said, turning and grinning at me too brightly.

Hmm...obviously he's got something he doesn't want to tell me.

I raised an eyebrow at him. "How much have you had to drink today, Shawn?"

Everyone laughed, even though it seemed kind of forced, as Shawn grinned sheepishly. "Ah, you know me, Charlie. About ten in the morning because it's the last time I'll be able to for four- I mean for a week."

"Oooh, that bloody sucks, mate." I mimicked Terry's accent as I handed Sandra and Shawn their presents.

Terry whacked me lightly in the back of the head as he and Roxy laughed.

"Shiit, Redskins just scored again!" Roxy yelled, pointing at the television, where we could see RGIII leaping into the stands.

"Woo-hoooo!" Roxy and I chorused as Terry whooped with joy and Shawn groaned.

"OhmyGod Charlie!" Sandra exclaimed, having opened her present.

I took a swig of my beer and perched on the armrest next to Shawn. "You like it, do ya?"

"Like it?! I love it, Charlie!" Sandra grinned as she looked at the matching Christmas earring and necklace set I'd gotten her. "Thank you thank you thank you!"

I laughed. "You're welcome, Sandy. Merry Christmas."

Suddenly I found myself falling off the arms of the couch and onto Shawn's lap.

"Holy shiit!" I shrieked, turning to look Shawn in the eye as Billy and Roxy wolf-whistled. "What the hell was that for?"

"Turn around, shut up, and close your eyes." Shawn ordered, forcing me to face the TV.

"Billy, you'll help me out if he's doing something inappropriate, right?" I asked with my eyes half-shut.

"Nah, you'll just hear me laughing, sweetie." Billy teased as Terry and Roxy yelled at the TV for a bad call made by the ref.

"Gee, thanks, Billy." I said sarcastically as something- a necklace?- was slipped around my neck, being clasped at the back.

"Okay, you can open your eyes, Charlie." I heard Shawn say then.

I opened my eyes and looked down at my chest to see a silver chain with a silver key hanging from it, studded with pure white stones all over it in a swirled heart-shaped pattern.

"OhmiGod!" I cried out, putting my beer on the coffee table and holding the key in my hand to look at it closer. "Shawn, this is awesome!"

"What is?" Billy called over, curious.

I hold up my necklace for him to see.

"Oooh...Shawn you have some very good taste for being a straight boy!" Billy said, grinning. "I have taught you well, young padawan."

"Thanks, Billy." Shawn rolled his eyes, smiling.

I turned and hugged Shawn. "Thanks, Shawn! It's beautiful!"

Shawn hugged me back tightly. "Merry Christmas, Charlie."

After a minute, I pulled away, grinning. "So how'd you like those Rascal Flatts tickets? Good, right?""

Is it just me or does Shawn look really sad and serious?


"Redskins just won! Twenty-seven to twenty!" Terry yelled suddenly as Roxy got up and started dancing for joy.

I jumped off of Shawn's lap and joined in the celebration. "Hail to the Redskins! Hail victory! Braves on the warpath! Fight! For all D.C.!"

Roxy, Terry and I burst out laughing as we finished singing.

"Oh thank God that's over!" Billy said with a sigh of relief, taking the remote from the coffee table and flipping to a music station on his stereo.

We R Who We R by Ke$ha came on and Terry and I started spinning around and around and around and around and around and around again.

Then he let me go and we both started falling backwards, wobbling.

Everyone was laughing, watching as Terry caught himself, and I continued to stumble until someone caught me.

"Oh, thank you, Shawn!" I laughed, my head still spinning as Shawn helped me stand up, his hands steady on my waist.

"Sure thing, Charlie." Shawn said, grinning at me.

"Look." I grinned, pointing above our heads where I could see a little bundle of pine needles.

"Mistletoe." Shawn smirked. "That's what I get for letting my gay roommate decorate for Christmas."

I opened my mouth to laugh as I heard Billy yell, "Damn straight!", but then Shawn was kissing me fiercely, pulling me closer when I didn't resist.

Looking back, I should have pushed him away.

It would have saved me so much pain.

But of course I didn't.

I'd liked Shawn for a few months by then, but I hadn't had the guts to do anything about it because I hadn't wanted to ruin our friendship.

Shawn began to move his hands up my back, but then he tore himself away from me violently, leaving me to fall onto the floor, gasping for breath.

Everyone in the living room had gone silent, watching us.

"I-I'm sorry, Charlie. I can't- I just can't." Shawn said, running a hand through his hair.

I stood up and grabbed my beer, avoiding everyone's gaze. "If you can't do it, then don't kiss me, you dumbass. Simple as pie."

I turned to walk out of the living room, but Shawn grabbed my arm. "Wait, Charlie, I-I didn't mean it like that."

I downed the last of my beer and crossed my arms over my chest. "Then how did you mean it, Shawn?"

Shawn sighed.

I expected him to say something like, "let's just stay friends" or "it wouldn't work out".

I did not expect him to say this:

"I'm joining the Army the day after Christmas."

The empty beer bottle fell from my hand, landing on the ground with a clunk! as I gaped at Shawn in shock.

I heard Terry sigh and Billy say, "See why we told you to tell her earlier?"

"You guys- you- you knew?"

My friends exchanged guilty looks as Roxy nodded.

I put a hand to my chocolate-brown hair, my eyes nearly falling out of their sockets as I tried to process everything.

It kills me that he didn't think he could tell me.

Shawn took a step closer to me. "Charlie, are you-"

"You bastard." I didn't wait around to hear what Shawn had to say. I hurried out of the living room, grabbed my purse from the foyer, then walked out of the front door into the chilly December air.

I was about halfway down the front steps when I heard Shawn follow me.

"Charlie, wait..." he trailed off when I turned to look at him with tears flooding out of my eyes.

"Were you even planning on telling me, Shawn?" I asked, trying to wipe away my tears. "Or were you just going to disappear?"

"I was, Charlie, I swear." Shawn said softly, coming closer to me slowly.

"And then you had to go and kiss me!" I exclaimed, tossing my hands into the air. "It may not have meant anything to you, but it meant something to me-"

I broke off when Shawn kissed me again, this time hungrily and more forceful.

A muffled moan escaped my lips, but still Shawn pushed me away again, leaning his forehead against mine.

"It means something to me too, Charlie." Shawn said hoarsely. "It isn't a game."

"We could make it work." I said breathlessly, hope almost tangible in my voice.

Shawn shook his head and let me go, taking a step back painfully slowly. "Remember what you said to me the first time we met?"

The first time we had met was at college. I had been 21 and he was 22. We literally ran into each other when Bill and I were walking around campus and Shawn had noticed that I was wearing an Army sweatshirt.

"Got a loverboy in the Army?" he had asked, helping me up off of the ground.

Billy had snorted and then laughed because he snorted.

I had rolled my eyes. "Nope. I'm not going to make the same mistake as my Mom, Grandma, and Great-Grandma did. Falling in love with a military man is like torture, moving around all the time."

Then Shawn looked me in the eyes and opened his mouth to say something, but I shook my head. "Save it, Shawn! I don't want to hear it!"

Yet he continued anyway.

"I can't make you go through what you told me about your mom. I can't ask you to deal with that. I want you to move on, Charlie." Shawn said firmly, not meeting my eyes.

"What if I don't want to move on, Shawn? Ever think of that? Damn you, Shawn! You always have to do the "right thing", don't you?" I put a hand to my face as more tears came.

The frigid December air had made my legs go numb due to the fact I had been wearing a skirt.

"Charlie-" Shawn had started to say after a minute of silence.

I shook my head again and held up a hand so that he wouldn't come any closer.

If Shawn had gotten any closer one more time, I would have lost it for sure.

"I really hope you don't get hurt." I managed to choke out through my tears. "Merry Christmas, Shawn."

I took one last look at Shawn with his curly black hair and electric green eyes before turning and running across the yard to my Jeep Wrangler, which was parked on the road.

I hopped in and shut the door, locking all of them before starting the engine and turning on the heat full-blast, shivering.

For a second, I just rested my head on the steering wheel, unable to keep myself from sobbing as the radio started playing I'll Be Alright Without You by Journey.

I'll keep holding on, but I'll try...try not to think of you...Love don't leave me lonely! I'll be alright without you!

Tears still streaming down my face, I put the car in gear and pulled out on the road, refusing to look back at Shawn's and Billy's flat, knowing that if I did I'd turn right back around because Shawn would still be standing there, watching me.

My heart was shattered.

And I wasn't sure if I could pick up the pieces.


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